State Public Health Quality Improvement

With the increase in requirements related to quality improvement/quality assurance (QI/QA) with accrediting bodies, it is essential for everyone in the public health field to gain a working understanding of these approaches to analyzing and improving performance.

I’m a trained quality improvement coach and have served on a state health department quality improvement council and community of practice group, developing and giving trainings to staff and students on using QI tools, such as the PDSA cycle. I’ve also overseen QI efforts within a state public health office, from the development of AIM statements and the use of brainstorming and flow chart tools to identify root causes of issues, to identifying and selecting next steps through use of an impact matrix.

At the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, I served as a trained quality improvement coach on the agency QI Council and participated in the agency community of practice. I initiated and led QI efforts within the agency’s Bureau of Health Promotion, including developing and giving QI training to staff and overseeing a graduate intern in carrying out a large QI project for the Bureau’s grant management team. As a result of these QI efforts, the grant management team identified gaps in communication internally and externally, developed a communications protocol for ensuring timely and accurate information reached local community grantees, and, through a pre-/post-survey of  local community grantees, was shown to have improved their communications across all metrics.